Hand Tools Archive

Re: watching someone at gibson do necks
Response To:
Sure isn't... ()

david weaver
Reminds me of watching people in the gibson factory work. Making a guitar neck isn't difficult, but it takes some time. Maybe an hour to get the contour right end to end and scrape the neck so you can pick it up later and make sure all of the curves are faired properly.

But, then you watch the gibson factory (before they went to CNC) and there's some dude or dudette with roughed out blanks and they contour the neck on the end of a belt grinder with coarse sandpaper. It's an operation that would take at least several dozen necks to get an acceptable result with but, they're doing one after the other quickly and the result is really nice.

I'd bet there's some fixture that drills those foreends horizontally and then a bunch of other fixtures that it fits on after that (drill rather than mill only because it's cheaper).

I would puzzle over making something like that, but in the end would drill the hole by hand with a visual guide in an oversize billet and then size it square, mark the ends and cut the waste out nearly to size with a rip saw while it was still square and then profile the outside. It would take a LONG time, and you have to have a good day to do it all right. It could take an afternoon, and it would still be something needing a rest so that you could look at it with fresh eyes the next day.

I'm sure the factory has a process that doesn't require the operator to have a good day. I'd love to see it. I'll bet it was somewhat low tech (but efficient) until recently.

Not having a bit size to do it is pretty hard to work around, though, and it may take two or three tries not to overcut a line.

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